Stay up-to-date on the most recent news about COVID-19 to help inform your workplace decisions. Below, you’ll find an analysis of:
- COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters
- The importance of this year’s flu vaccine
- Travel safety precautions for the holiday season
- A brief update on the OSHA ETS mandate
COVID-19 VACCINES AND BOOSTERS
For those who haven’t started or finished their COVID-19 vaccine series, we strongly encourage them to do so. The vaccines have proven to be safe and highly effective, and as we enter the colder months where respiratory illnesses spread more easily, we want you and your loved ones to be able to gather for the holidays safely.
As a reminder, children ages 5-11 are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Check with your pediatrician or state public health website to find out where vaccines are available.
If you’ve had your initial COVID-19 vaccine series, you should be scheduling your booster as soon as possible. As of Friday, November 19, 2021, the CDC and the FDA have approved expanding booster eligibility for everyone 18 years old and older who received their 2nd dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago, or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago. If you have plans to travel or gather with loved ones, make sure to get the booster at least 2 weeks before in order to receive the full benefit of its protection.
THE FLU VACCINE
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine series and booster, we encourage you and your employees to get the flu vaccine. The flu should be taken very seriously; it can lead to complications and absence from work, even among those who are generally considered healthy. We are expecting a rise in cases, especially in the coming weeks after holiday gatherings. So, get your flu shot as soon as you can. It can take two to three weeks to develop full immunity.
TESTING AND OTHER PRECAUTIONS
If you travel for the holidays, it’s best to also test. You can access rapid antigen or PCR COVID-19 tests at local pharmacies. Appointments are available but plan to make an appointment several days prior to the day you want to be tested in order to receive your PCR test results in time. Antigen tests should be done the day of your visit with a repeat test 36-48 hours later, as per test instructions.
We would be remiss without reminding you that what worked before vaccines still works now to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID and Flu. Wearing a mask when indoors, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and gathering outdoors in open-air areas helps slow the spread.
OSHA ETS ON VACCINE MANDATES
You may have seen that the OSHA ETS for the vaccine and testing mandate was placed on hold as the courts hear from various parties. While we can’t predict where the courts will land, we encourage you to have a policy for COVID-19 vaccines and testing in place, if you don’t already. We are here to help you craft or refine your policies.
Authored by Heather Towery, M.D., VP Clinical Strategy and Enterprise Partnerships at Eden Health
Disclaimer: This information is based on current resources available and is subject to change. This document and its contents are provided for informational purposes only, and not intended to be, and should not be understood or treated as, a substitute for professional medical advice around COVID-19, its risks or symptoms, or to take the place of any local, state and national laws and guidelines around COVID-19. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.